Overcoming Hidden Barriers

Unaddressed, hidden barriers can silently trap someone in poverty, homelessness, or addiction. But every day, your UGM support offers people resources to triumph over these complex challenges, moving them towards transformation. And that's worth celebrating!

UGM Logo

Annual Report

Portrait image of Omar

You're Welcoming Newcomers Home

Omar's Story

When Omar landed in Vancouver and walked off the plane as a refugee from the Middle East, he was ready to embrace freedom. However, between barely speaking the language, hardly knowing anyone, and often having nowhere to stay, settling in can be a rocky road for refugees.

Thankfully, newcomer services connected Omar with UGM that very day. Here, he chowed down on his first Canadian meal, and was warmly welcomed into our safe shelter. Omar then met with Demetrius, a compassionate case manager. Together, they started building a foundation for Omar's new life by filing paperwork, making phone calls, and getting enrolled into English classes.

I trust Demetrius so much. He was the first person I met in Canada, and now he's like a friend, brother, and teacher

After three weeks, Omar secured his work permit and moved into housing, which was supported by income assistance for the meantime. At a community meal, Omar was introduced to a UGM volunteer, who is a fellow Middle Eastern refugee and previous shelter guest. With shared experiences, the two instantly connected—leading Omar to a perfect job with his culinary experience: a chef in a Middle Eastern restaurant!

Omar quickly went from not having an ounce of income to being housed, employed and completely independent. This was possible because of UGM supporters like you! Thank you for offering Omar shelter, meals, and the case management services he needed when he arrived in Vancouver. Today, he feels home, and has a strong sense of safety, optimism and belonging.


Mobile Mission connections made in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley


nights of safe shelter provided


hot, nutritious meals served

Portrait image of Jessica

You're Restoring Women's Passions

Jessica's Story

Sadly, growing up in the foster care system is often a rough experience for kids. But Jessica had healthy Christian influences, was involved in youth outreach ministries, and served on mission trips. This secured her safety, developed her passion for children, and built her faith in God.

However, life changed dramatically when Jessica 'aged out' of the foster care system and moved out on her own. After meeting new people and experimenting with alcohol and drugs, she grew apart from her faith community. This eventually unraveled into a lonely, unrelenting four-year on-and-off struggle with homelessness and addiction.

When it started freezing last winter, Jessica sought warmth at a women's drop-in center. That's when she decided to try recovery at UGM's Lydia Home. Opening up was hard at first, but the community respected Jessica's boundaries, helping her trust again. Here, she also rekindled her relationship with Jesus—giving Jessica the hope, dignity, and strength to overcome the addiction.

At Lydia Home, I found my worth in God. I learned that I'm actually worth a better life

Since finding renewal at Lydia Home just a year ago, Jessica has gotten her own place, and graduated college with a Diploma in Early Childhood Education (ECE). Today, she's returned to her love for kids as a full-time ECE Assistant, and beams of confidence! Thank you—because you believe in restored lives, Jessica has fast-tracked into stability and deep purpose.


women's lives tranformed through Alcohol & Drug Recovery at Lydia Home


women successfully transitioned from The Sanctuary to their next step, including 6 women with babies


of graduated women celebrate 1 year of sobriety

Portrait image of Graham

You're Walking Alongside Families

Juliette & Hope's Story

Parenthood can be challenging for anyone, but especially for a low-income single mother who is living with a disability. That's why our Women & Families team were quick to connect with Juliette and Hope* at UGM's Summer BBQ. After learning about Juliette's multiple sclerosis and its effect on her mobility, employment, and ability to care for Hope, UGM staff were determined to help make their lives a little brighter.

Graham, a Children's Outreach Worker, invited Hope to UGM's Summer Day Camps, and then to our Eastsiders Homework Club in the fall. Now, she comes almost every day after school. Here, she tries new activities, and has made friends and positive mentors. But most importantly, it gives Graham daily opportunities to personally walk alongside their family.

We focus on relationships. Because we know families this well, we can serve them in a way that makes them feel loved and appreciated —Graham

When Juliette and Hope were evicted from their home, Graham assisted them with a UGM “Hope 7” grant—financial aid for guests facing crises that alleviates moving company costs. Later, when he learned Hope didn’t have a bed and wasn’t sleeping well, the Women & Families Team worked quickly to deliver a mattress to their apartment the next day. Today, Graham often walks Hope to and from school, and Juliette is supported through food hampers.

Although every day is still tough, Juliette and Hope know that they are safe. For Graham, investing in whole families like theirs is a way of living out his love for Jesus. Thank you for supporting these stable relationships—they are feeding hope, and helping build resilient communities.

* Names and faces changed to protect guest's identities


kids enrolled in Eastsiders Homework Club


youth 1-on-1's with Outreach Workers


children & parents experienced summer camp through sponsorship

Portrait image of Robert

You're Loving People Unconditionally

Robert's Story

Robert excelled in a respected career, until his drug dealers blackmailed him into balancing their books, threatening him at gunpoint. After years of fear and violence, Robert sought safety at a local shelter, desperate to escape. But after being turned away three nights in a row—despite being first in line for a bed—he started losing the last bit of hope he had. Until tired, hungry, and cold, he tried calling UGM.

By the time he hung up, a bed was waiting for Robert. When he arrived at UGM, Joey, a Front Desk Worker, warmly greeted him. Joey offered Robert a meal, and explained that he'd receive shower toiletries, fresh bedding, and that his clothes could be washed overnight. Overwhelmed by the love and hospitality, Robert threw out his meth pipe.

In recovery, Robert started healing through the roots of his addiction. First, his childhood sexual abuse. Then, the ongoing impact of being misunderstood for his sexual abstinence, and the stigma and verbal assault that often followed. After finding acceptance through caring counsellors and peers, Robert forgave his offenders—giving him joy, peace, and confidence.

With God, I can forgive people for not understanding the unique way I experience love

Today, Robert is safe, housed, and back in school! But what he values most about his new life are the opportunities to love others. This includes Johnathan, his best friend and motivator through recovery—who sadly passed away after relapsing. As Robert walks alongside other men now, he honors Johnathan's motto: "It takes a team to make a dream come true." Thank you for giving people like Robert and Johnathan hope, and for investing in a community that loves them unconditionally.


men stayed in Gateway, our pre-recovery program


men transitioned from Gateway into a recovery program


men's lives transformed through our 6 month Alcohol & Drug Recovery

Our Vision For Tomorrow

This year, Union Gospel Mission is celebrating the life-changing ways you’ve equipped people with tools to overcome a diversity of hidden barriers: health issues, foster care, mental anguish, stigma, the opioid crisis and vacancy rates—to name just a few.

But as we look to tomorrow, we’re seeing that the needs are only growing. UGM is stepping into this new decade with a deepened heart for justice, and a sense that God is calling us to expand our ministry’s reach.

When the doors to our new Women & Families Centre open in 2021, your ongoing support will increase our capacity from 21 to 123 beds. With long-term recovery, supportive housing, childcare, and youth development programs, vulnerable families will be well-supported as they break intergenerational cycles of poverty.

Because we’ve seen people in Vancouver successfully journey through our continuum of care, out of poverty, homelessness and addiction, and into restored life, we are determined to make this care accessible to people in every community we serve.

Today, your faithful support is helping people overcome hidden barriers. And into tomorrow, your continuing compassion will help rebuild their lives completely. With a humble heart, we thank you for partnering with us in transforming communities—one life at a time. I pray you’re inspired, knowing the safety, dignity, and hope you’re offering daily.

God Bless,

UGM President's Photo
UGM President's Signature

William B. Mollard

Demonstrating the love of Christ, Union Gospel Mission is determined to transform communities by overcoming poverty, homelessness, and addiction—one life at a time

2018-2019 Fiscal Year in Review

Donations & Other Revenues $27,496,159

87% $23,828,378 Donations
67% Annual Campaign
20% Legacy Campaign
13% $3,667,781 Other Revenues
9% Social Housing
4% Store Sales, Investments & Other

Expenses & Designated Funds $22,798,826

76% $17,420,116 Programs, Services, & Social Housing
52% Outreach & Recovery
11% Housing
9% Education & Engagement
4% Other
16% $3,667,781 Development
8% $1,742,865 Administration

All statistics and outcomes in this annual report are from Union Gospel Mission's Key Performance Indicators reports for the July 2018 – June 2019 fiscal year. Audited financial statements can be seen at UGM.ca/history

Thank You!

Every year, you help people overcome poverty, homelessness, and addiction. Thank you for making a life-changing difference with Union Gospel Mission.